Wise becomes London’s biggest ever tech listing after hitting the market with a value of more than £8bn
Wise has taken the crown as the largest tech company to ever list on the London Stock Exchange after hitting the market with a value of more than £8billion.
Shares in the money transfer business opened at 800p before climbing throughout the day to 880p, leaving the business worth £8.5billion at the close of trading.
Founders Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus saw their stakes valued at £1.6billion and £922million respectively.
Fortunes: Wise founders Kristo Kaarmann (right) and Taavet Hinrikus (left) saw their stakes valued at £1.6bn and £922m respectively
Wise decided to float through a direct listing. This meant that its stock was simply auctioned off between 7.50am and 11am yesterday, and bosses had little way of telling whether the float would be a success or a flop.
But Kaarmann and Hinrikus will probably be happy with their first day as a public company, after private investors valued Wise at just £3.6billion last year.
Investors in Baillie Gifford’s Scottish Mortgage and Jupiter’s Chrysalis investment trusts, which ploughed money into Wise when it was still a private last July, have more than doubled their money.
In the first half-hour, there were 47m trades in the company’s shares.
Susannah Streeter, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘The unruffled start to trading should help London’s efforts to maintain its reputation as a fintech hub as it has struggled to attract fast-growing companies keen to list.
‘Just 5 per cent of companies delivering an IPO choose London as the launch pad.’
Julia Hoggett, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, said: ‘Wise joining the main market through its direct listing demonstrates that global tech companies can build, scale up and go public in London.’
Gerard Grech, of entrepreneurs’ network Tech Nation, added: ‘I hope this sets an example to tech firms looking for an alternative avenue to the public markets.’